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Rules for My Unborn Son

Rules for My Unborn Son

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by Walker Lamond
     
 

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RULES FOR MY UNBORN SON is a collection of traditional, humorous, and urbane fatherly advice for boys. From the sartorial ("If you are tempted to wear a cowboy hat, resist") to the practical ("Keep a copy of your letters. It makes it easier for your biographer") to even a couple of sure-fire hangover cures ("There is no better remedy than a dip in the ocean"), the

Overview

RULES FOR MY UNBORN SON is a collection of traditional, humorous, and urbane fatherly advice for boys. From the sartorial ("If you are tempted to wear a cowboy hat, resist") to the practical ("Keep a copy of your letters. It makes it easier for your biographer") to even a couple of sure-fire hangover cures ("There is no better remedy than a dip in the ocean"), the book of rules and accompanying quotations is quite simply an instruction manual for becoming a Good Man - industrious, thoughtful, charming, and of course, well-dressed.

Hip and witty with a decidedly traditionalist flavor, RULES FOR MY UNBORN SON is meant to evoke simpler times when Father knew best and a suitable answer to "Why?" was "Because I said so."

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This may be one book that actually has changed my life.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Anyone out there looking for a fun, helpful read to give a new dad should check out Rules for my Unborn Son...4 and a half stars” —PARENTING.com

“A great gift for new dads.” —Daily Candy

“Rules for My Unborn Son will surely be a Christmas bestseller.” —Daily Telegraph

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312608958
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
10/27/2009
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
196,644
Product dimensions:
5.22(w) x 7.44(h) x 0.83(d)

Read an Excerpt

Rules For My Unborn Son


By Walker Lamond

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2009 Walker Lamond
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-08745-4



CHAPTER 1

When in doubt, wear a tie.

* * *

Ride in the front car of a roller coaster.

* * *

See movies on the big screen.

* * *

Men with facial hair have something to hide.


Be a strong swimmer, especially in the ocean.

* * *

Avoid gossip.

* * *

Don't waste time with a fancy watch.

* * *

Talent is learned.

Learn to sing.

* * *

Stand up for the little guy.

He'll remember you.


Be careful what you set your heart upon, for it will surely be yours.

— James A. Baldwin


Avoid affectations, lest they become habits.

* * *

Buy seasonal fruit from your local stand or bodega.

* * *

Don't attempt a dialect other than your own, unless it's in the script.

* * *

Men should not wear sandals.

Ever.


Start a band.

* * *

A T-shirt is neither a philosophy nor an advertisement. It's a shirt. Wear it plain.

* * *

Know her dress size. Don't ask.

* * *

On occasion, pick up the tab.

* * *

Don't poke fun at contemporary art. Put it in context.

* * *

Don't spit on the sidewalk.

* * *

The key to good photography is not timing. It's editing.

* * *

Don't be shy in the locker room. They are all thinking the same thing.

* * *

Be a good listener. Don't just wait your turn to talk.

* * *

A vandal is the lowest form of scoundrel.

* * *

Yes Ma'am. No Sir. No exceptions.


Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely, and to the best of your ability, and that way you might change the world.

— Charles Eames


Know your furniture. But never buy it all at once.

* * *

On a road trip, offer to buy the first tank of gas.

* * *

Short pants are for little boys. Decide for yourself when you are a man.

* * *

Always meet your date at the door.

* * *

Make a rock and roll pilgrimage.

* * *

Make a hipster's day. Donate old clothes to charity.

* * *

Close the door, turn it up, dork out.

* * *

Audition for a play. Read for the lead.

* * *

Never pack more than you can carry yourself.

* * *

Live in New York.


Take the stairs.

* * *

Root for the home team, even when they stink.

* * *

Have a reliable hangout.

* * *

Nothing good ever happens after 3 A.M.

I promise.

* * *

Sit in the front of the classroom.

* * *

Finish what you start, especially books.

* * *

There is rarely a time to raise your voice. At the ball game is one.

* * *

Never eat the same meal twice in a row.

* * *

Don't show off.

Impress.

* * *

Make sure your clothes fit properly.


A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

— Robert Anson Heinlein


At funerals, a dark suit is fine. You shouldn't own a black one.

* * *

Don't loiter where there is a dispute that does not concern you.

* * *

Don't be a mooch.

* * *

When speaking with a journalist, choose your words carefully.


Push-ups and sit-ups are all you'll ever need to build muscle.

* * *

Never criticize a book, play, or film unless you have read or seen it yourself. Art is full of surprises.

* * *

Support friends in the arts. Especially if they stink.

* * *

Learn to sail.

* * * The most expensive restaurant is never the best.

* * *

Remember, the girl you're with is somebody's sister. And he's perfectly capable of kicking your ass.

* * *

Be a good passer, but don't forget to shoot.



Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.

— H. G. WELLS


Wear a sport coat when traveling by plane. It has easily accessible pockets.

* * *

Spend as much time as you can on the water. In a pinch, even a creek will do.

* * *

Keep your word.

* * *

Never side against your brother in a fight.

* * *

Memorize the Bill of Rights and your favorite poem.

* * *

Respect fire.

* * *

Philanthropy is not measured in dollars and cents.

* * *

Never go out of your way to be on TV.

* * *

On a city sidewalk, walk briskly and don't impede pedestrian traffic.

* * *

Never hog a microphone.



Take the train.

* * *

Run for student government at least once.

* * *

Let the axe do the work.

* * *

Feel free to crash a tailgate party.

* * *

You don't get to choose your own nickname.

* * *

Enough already. Learn the rules of cricket.

* * *

If you're going to reinvent yourself, be original.

* * *

Bodysurf.

* * *

Be subtle.

She sees you.

* * *

Give credit.

Take the blame.

* * *

Don't underestimate your fertility.

* * *

Write down your dreams.


When things go wrong — don't go with them.

— Elvis Presley

Unless you have served in the armed forces, no fatigues.

* * *

The best thing you can give your neighbors is a well-kept lawn.

* * *

Keep a schedule.

* * *

Experience the serenity of traveling alone.

* * *

The one true measure of a successful adventure is returning home safely.

* * *

Call your mom.

* * *

Your best chance of being a rock star is learning the bass.

* * *

When excusing yourself from the table, you need not give a reason.

* * *

If you have the right of way, take it.

* * *

If the maître d' mistakes you for someone famous, there's no rush to correct him.

* * *

Sympathy is a crutch.

Never fake a limp.

* * *

Take your own pictures at family events.

* * *

Don't let the pictures become the event.

* * *

When it comes to opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.

* * *

Don't gloat.

A good friend will do it for you.


On matters of style, swim with the current.

On matters of principle, stand like a rock.

— THOMAS JEFFERSON


Don't tip the owner.

A handshake will do.

* * *

Don't stare directly into a dog's eyes.

* * *

You can't cram for a dental exam.

* * *

Don't rush.

No coffee until you're sixteen.

* * *

Never under any circumstances ask a woman if she is pregnant.



Courage is not the lack of fear, it is acting in spite of it.

— MARK TWAIN


Don't date the bartender.

* * *

Learn to pronounce French words correctly.

* * *

Invest in great luggage.

The world will know that you've arrived.

* * *

Be a regular at your local flea market.

* * *

Let napping dads lie.


If you choose to wear a tie, commit.

Button your top button.

* * *

Offer your date the seat with the best view of the restaurant.

* * *

Never be the last one in the pool.


* * *

Keep a garden.


The American, by nature, is optimistic.

He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.

— JOHN F. KENNEDY


Get back in touch with old friends.

* * *

Never turn down an invitation to speak in public.

* * *

Eat more fish.

* * *

Do your own bicycle repairs.

* * *

Order dessert.

* * *

Don't shout out requests at rock shows.

Be a good wingman.

* * *

When selling tickets, take face value.

* * *

Don't stare.

People-watch.

* * *

Protect your privacy, especially when you're famous.


Address anyone who carries a firearm professionally as sir or ma'am.

* * *

Explore the branches of your family tree. You never know what you might find.

* * * Sleep with the window open.

* * * If you drop change, pick it up.

Even the pennies.

* * * Don't pose with booze.



Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?

— BENJAMIN FRANKLIN


You aren't done raking until you've played in the leaf pile.

* * *

Never respond to a critic in writing.

* * *

Know the difference between arts and crafts.

* * *

Fish don't have eyelids.

Cast into the shade.


Don't settle for a store bought cake.

Bake!

* * *

Surround yourself with smart people.

* * *

Don't be a snob.



I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.

— WOODROW WILSON


When fishing, practice catch and release.

* * *

If the teacher forgets to assign homework, keep quiet.


Don't ride your bike on the sidewalk.

* * *

Stand up to bullies.

You'll only have to do it once.

* * *

If you've made your point, stop talking.

* * *

Watch your language at the ballgame.

* * *

Sit for a portrait.


Get your pumpkins from a pumpkin patch.

* * *

Own a wool flannel suit.

* * *

Have a pen pal.

* * *

Admit when you are wrong.

Mean it.

* * *

If you spot a teacher outside of school, leave him be.


Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.

— TEDDY ROOSEVELT


Don't personalize your license plates.

* * *

If you offer to help, don't quit until the job is done.

* * *

When it's time to sing in church, SING!

It's a great time to practice.

* * *

Wear freshly laundered pajamas.


The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptinos.

— OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, SR.



Be precise.

* * *

Identify your most commonly used word or phrase and eliminate it.

* * *

Stay Busy. There is always something that could use a fresh coat of paint.

* * *

If you attend a late-night after-party, have an exit strategy.

* * *

On Sunday morning, a gentleman gets dressed.


There is never an excuse for stealing someone's cab.

* * *

When you're older, coach.

* * *

Look people in the eye when you thank them, especially waiters.

* * *

Choose a window seat and enjoy the view.

* * *

Twice a year, write down your goals.

* * *

No gang is complete without one cool girl.

* * *

Hang artwork at eye level.

* * *

There is no need to tell anyone you are leaving the bar.


Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.

— ERNEST HEMINGWAY


Keep a well-stocked bar.

* * *

Read before bed every night.

* * *

Never post a picture online you wouldn't feel comfortable showing your mother, your boss, and the dean of admissions.


Don't throw sand or, when you're older, mud.

* * *

Don't panic.

* * *

When singing karaoke, choose a song in your range.

* * *

Thank the bus driver.

* * *

Go down fighting.


If you're playing a poker game and you look around the table and can't tell who the sucker is, it's you.

— PAUL NEWMAN

Keep your passport current.

* * *

Become an expert in something.

* * *

Write letters.

On paper.

* * *

Be careful what you put in writing. You can't take it back.

* * *

There is exactly one place where it is acceptable to wear gym clothes.

Never ask about another person's grades or salary.

* * *

To execute a proper tackle, lower your shoulder, not your head, and remember to wrap up.

* * *

Cite your sources, even online.

* * *

Whistle.

* * *

Never push someone off a dock.

The view is better when you're not afraid of who is behind you.


Help a buddy move.

* * *

Don't boast about projects in progress.

Celebrate their completion.

* * *

Until you are a doctor, never answer your phone at the table.

* * *

If you make a mistake, forgive yourself and move on.

* * *

Be a good diver.


When you are a houseguest, be sure to wake up before your hosts.

* * *

After lighting a firecracker, stand back.

* * *

In a canoe, do your share of the work.

* * *

Go barefoot. It toughens the feet.

* * *

Make yourself useful on a boat. If you can't tie knots, fetch the beers.

* * *

Spend a summer waiting tables.

* * *

Always keep a good joke handy.

* * *

Take your sunglasses off indoors. This includes elevators and planes.

* * *

Don't salt your food until you've tasted it.

* * *

Never turn down a girl's invitation to dance.


Be true to your school.

— Brian Wilson


Play hooky.

* * *

Never skip practice.

* * *

Avoid air-conditioning, especially at the beach.

* * *

Order the local specialty.

* * *

Don't boo.

Even the ref is somebody's son.


Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like hell underneath.

— MICHAEL CAINE


Drive across the country.

Don't rush.

* * *

Limit your time in California.

* * *

Never ask to be taken out of a ball game.

* * *

If you aren't a starter, stay close to the coach and be ready to play.

* * *

There's nothing wrong with musical theater. Everything in moderation.


Don't have a girlfriend in college.

* * *

A man's luggage doesn't roll.

* * *

Learn to drive a stick shift.

* * *

Jump in with your clothes on.

* * * Smile at pretty girls.



Have a signature dish, even if it's your only one.

* * *

Be quick with a "Good morning."

* * *

Have a favorite song.

It doesn't have to be cool.

* * *

Be careful not to ogle girls at the beach. That's what sunglasses are for.

* * *

If you ignore history, it will ignore you.


There is more than one way to serve your country.

Drive a fuel-efficient car.

* * *

Don't be afraid to nominate yourself.

Be up to the task.

* * *

Make curfew.

Sneak out later to meet her.

* * *

A museum is a great place to beat a hangover.

It's cool, quiet, and full of water fountains.

* * * Keep your room clean.

One day you'll have roommates.

* * * Do laundry often.

You won't need as many clothes.

* * *

Never leave a job without

securing your next employment.

* * *

But when it's time to go, don't hesitate.


Everything I've ever done was out of fear of being mediocre.

— CHET ATKINS

Be nice to your sister. You are her cheerleader, confidante, and bodyguard.

* * *

Find yourself a good hideout.

* * *

Always stop at a lemonade stand. Tip well. Know the proper time to wear a tuxedo.

It's more often than you think.

* * *

The keys to throwing a good party are a working stereo, Christmas lights, and plenty of ice.

* * * Be cool to the younger kids.

Reputations are built over a lifetime.

* * * Drive a vintage car before you are thirty.

Be able to wrench it yourself * * *

Be confident on the subway.

* * *

On a night out with the boys, never be the first to go home.

* * *

If you're going to quote someone, get it right.

* * *

Know the proper time to chew gum.

It's less often than you think.

* * *

On occasion, go to the movies by yourself.

* * *

Wait for your song to play on the jukebox.



Here's a rule I recommend.

Never practice two vices at once.

— TALLULAH BANKHEAD


Find your favorite painting.

* * *

Traveling to a foreign city is an excuse to dress up, not down.

The best thing to do in the rain is be quiet and listen.

* * *

Go all out on Halloween.

* * *

Ask your mother to dance.

* * *

Take the time to get a shoe-shine.

* * *

Don't get fancy about your beer or coffee.



Don't let the ice-cream truck get away.

* * *

Despite what your may hear, not everyone's a winner. It doesn't mean you shouldn't play.

* * *

Don't lose your cool.

Especially at work.

* * *

Some rules are made to be broken.

Jaywalking is not one of them.

* * *

Participate in a good practical joke.

* * *

When handling a frog, be gentle.

* * *

Offer your name when greeting someone. Even good friends have lousy memories.

* * *

Be able to identify all of the trees on your block.

It is no use saying, "We are doing our best." You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.

— WINSTON CHURCHILL


Never sit down on a ball field.

Take a knee.

* * *

Hustle.

* * *

If your mother is watching, wear a helmet.

* * *

Keep hardback copies of your favorite books. Donate the rest to a local exchange.

* * *

Treat your body well.

You'll be glad you did when you are a dad.

* * *

Be beholden to no one.

Pay in cash.

* * *

Remember to thank your hosts.

* * *

If you don't know what a word means, ask.

Before it's too late.

* * *

Know your neighborhood like the back of your hand. Sometimes the best adventures are in your own backyard.

* * *

There is no better remedy than a dip in the ocean.

* * *

Trust the concierge.


Never request a joke or impression.

They are never as good on command.

* * *

Suck it up.

* * *

If you have to make more than one substitution, order something else.

* * *

Wisdom begins with an awe of nature.




Wit ought to be a glorious treat like caviar; never spread it about like marmalade.

— NOËL COWARD


Attend lots of weddings.

Your friends will be there and the food is always good.

* * *

Send postcards.

* * *

Read the good majority of a newspaper every day.

* * *

Don't forget the funny pages.



Draw what you see, not what you think is there.

* * *

Exercise in the morning.

Bicycling to school or work is a good idea.

* * *

Socks are not necessary in the summer, no matter how formal the occasion.

* * *

Use the broiler.

It's an indoor grill.

* * *

Befriend your local butcher.

* * * Sign the guestbook.

* * * Own your own baseball mitt and golf clubs. All other athletic equipment can be shared or borrowed.

* * *

Offer your seat to a woman, no matter how old she is.

* * *

Get to know your sister's boyfriends. I'll rely on your opinion.

* * *

Never criticize the government of your own country when you are abroad.


Play organized football.

* * *

You won't always be the strongest or fastest. You can be the toughest.

* * *

An hour with your grandparents is time well spent.

* * *

In the long run, loyalty trumps ambition every time.

* * *

Watch a lightning storm from a safe spot.

But watch 'em.

* * *

When caught in a riptide, swim parallel to the beach.

* * *

Compliment your mom's cooking.

* * *

Wrap your own presents.

Aluminum foil works in a pinch and you don't need tape.

* * *

Be a well-informed voter.

* * *

Don't forget your local elections.


Take it easy. But take it.

— WOODY GUTHRIE


Don't litter.

Ever.

* * *

Honking your horn won't make them go faster.

* * *

Drink rail liquor.

* * *

Minimize talking on the telephone.

* * * Don't be afraid of

pickup games. It's the best way to learn.

* * * Keep iced tea in the fridge.

It's healthy, cold, and cheap.

* * *


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Rules For My Unborn Son by Walker Lamond. Copyright © 2009 Walker Lamond. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author


Walker Lamond is a writer and television producer. His documentaries have appeared on the Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, TruTV, and HBO, and he has written for numerous publications including Stop Smiling magazine, Valet, Babble, and Asylum. Lamond lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and their son, who arrived shortly after the completion of Rules for My Unborn Son.

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Rules for My Unborn Son 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny and useful!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a lot of fun....all ages would like it. The title is somewhat off putting, but the text was great
kebuck01 More than 1 year ago
Witty, fun, informative, creative and a great easy read! This book is a must-have for anyone that is about to have a son or even anyone who already has one! A great shower gift, gift for dad or Father's Day gift. HIGHLY recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
rs614 More than 1 year ago
This is just a short book but it's so adorable...I loved the sayings and actually gave it to my son!!!
GuillermoCordobva More than 1 year ago
The cover caught my eye and the words kept me reading. I just love this book. Some might consider it a bit pricey considering that it can be finished in a about an hour. But it's worth every cent in advise. It's no novel but well worth the read. I pick it up every few days and get a kick of the great advise. I look forward to sharing this little treasure with my little man. We will both be better men for it. Some of my favorite rules: *Make sure your clothes fit properly. *Have a reliable hangout. *Keep your eye on the ball and follow through. In sports and in life. *Finish what you start, especially books.